Newsletter: Qld State Report
By Natalie Williams, 2012 Scholar and State Chair
Given that Qld has had generally good early rains across most of the state, it lends itself to providing a solid platform for going into a good season after many years of drought. There are still pockets of country that hasn’t received rain, so hopefully these areas get the balance in the coming months.
Emily Rigby (2016 Sch) and myself were successful applicants in the National Rural Women’s Coalition e-leaders Grow, Innovate and Sustain Program and will be showcasing our projects as part of the sustainability program in the coming months.
We are delighted that there are four 2017 Scholars from Qld in the latest crop to be announced. Our alumni are looking forward to assisting them in their research and hearing about their travels.
James Walker (2012 Sch) from Longreach has been busy with activities at Camden Park. Making the most of the dry weather, James and family have embarked on complimentary businesses that are innovative, but bring fun to the local community. The Outback Yacht Club, based at Camden Park is about showcasing Western Qld to a demographic of people who would not necessarily choose this area as a travel destination!
Nigel Corish (2014 Sch) from Goondiwindi was featured on the Climate Kelpie website and has some interesting insights about soils and production systems. Click here to read.
Simon Mattsson (2014 Sch) was featured in a Central Queensland Soil Health Systems case study, a very interesting read. Click here to read.
Andrew Dewar (2011 Sch) represented his business as part of the Horticultural Conference held at the Gold Coast in June and was part of an audio interview with the ABC about the future of horticulture.
Jodie Redcliffe (2013 Sch and Qld Vice Chair) and husband Wayne hosted the Japan segment of the GFP for 2015-6 Scholars. They spent a considerable time organizing and finding excellent agribusiness enterprises for the Scholars to visit while in Japan. A huge effort by the Redcliffe family.
AGM and Tour at Sunshine Coast
Our AGM and dinner was held in Brisbane back in May, followed by a whole day of visits to enterprises on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.
There were 17 Scholars at the AGM, a great turnout. And with a decision to have functions in both northern and southern Qld will enable more alumni to be engaged. Both Jim Geltch and newly appointed CEO Jodie Dean were presented and it is clear her intent for Nuffield looks great for coming years. Jim was acknowledged for his outstanding contribution.
The AGM was followed by a dinner with 30 attendees, including investor representatives from AACo, CSIRO, Rabobank, MLA and the banana and sugar industry. The guest speaker was David Foote (photo below), from Australian Country Choice, who provided insights on doing business in China.
Following the AGM and dinner, the alumni had a full day of visits. These included Kilcoy Pastoral Company, a top meat processing company, where we toured the boning rooms and cold store facilities. This was followed by a farm tour of Jodie Redcliffe (2013 Sch) and husband Wayne’s chicken meat farm at Wamuran where we saw some 35,000 of their newest recruits in large sheds.
It was fitting to end the AGM weekend at the Sunshine Coast and we had an informal platter lunch with Rawdon Briggs from Colliers International. He gave us a very informative update on sales and future sale trends for rural and agricultural land in Australia.
We look forward to seeing the alumni at a forthcoming Qld event in the New Year.